By Mathieu Bernier
Antoine Vermette was draft 55th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2000. After playing in Ottawa from 2003-2004 to 2008-2009, he played the next three seasons in Columbus. In 2011-2012, he joined the Phoenix Coyotes before he went to help Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2014-2015. Then, he came back with the Coyotes in 2015-2016. While he was a free agency, Bob Murray decided to sign Vermette on a 2 year $3.5 M contract ($1.75M per year).
Known to be one of the best centers when it comes to clutch faceoffs, Vermette didn’t let down the Ducks. In fact, he finished the season with an even strength Face-off win percentage of 62.3%, which is, the second best in the league, just behind avalanche’s forward Matt Duchene (62.6%). This means that adding Vermette to Kesler and Getzlaf gives Anaheim’s a great advantage for the puck possession.
Vermette also contributes to the Ducks’ success on the penalty kill. In fact, Anaheim finished the season with an awesome penalty kill percentage of 84.7% and Vermette was part of this success. In fact, he finished the 2016-2017 season with an average of 0:50 time on ice on the penalty kill. In case you didn’t know, with 22 short-handers in his career, Vermette is tied with Rick Nash and Brad Marchand for the short-handed goal leaders
Despite his great faceoff percentage and his penalty kill contribution, Vermette did not produce enough offensively. In fact, with only 28 points in 72 games, he had his worst season in his whole career. He also was suspended 10 games for slashing linesman.
For his defense, his first season with Anaheim was the one where he got the less time on ice per game, with an average of 15:54. In addition, that season was also the one where he had the less power play time with an average of 1:53 minutes per game.
Also, with a Stanley Cup Championship in 2014-2015 with Chicago, Vermette is certainly that kind of guy that brings great experience for the Ducks. As I live in the same city of Vermette, I had the opportunity, for the second summer in a row, to meet him at the gym. We talked together and I can tell you that this guy is really happy to play with the Ducks and he is training really hard to help the ducks win the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup. I wish him a great season.
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September 23th, 2017